Monthly Archive March 2018

Byweimiaow

Across the green boughs stretches out her white hand

 

Li Bai

BALLADS OF FOUR SEASONS: SPRING

The lovely Lo Fo of the western land

Plucks mulberry leaves by the waterside.

Across the green boughs stretches out her white hand;

In golden sunshine her rosy robe is dyed.

“my silkworms are hungry, I cannot stay.

Tarry not with your five-horse cab, I pray.”


Li Bai

BALLADS OF FOUR SEASONS: SUMMER

On Mirror Lake outspread for miles and miles,

The lotus lilies in full blossom teem.

In fifth moon Xi Shi gathers them with smiles,

Watchers o’erwhelm the bank of Yuoye Stream.

Her boat turns back without waiting moonrise

To yoyal house amid amorous sighs.


Li Bai

A SONG OF AN AUTUMN MIDNIGHT

A slip of the moon hangs over the capital;

Ten thousand washing-mallets are pounding;

And the autumn wind is blowing my heart

For ever and ever toward the Jade Pass….

Oh, when will the Tartar troops be conquered,

And my husband come back from the long campaign!


Li Bai

BALLADS OF FOUR SEASONS: WINTER

The courier will depart next day, she’s told.

She sews a warrior’s gown all night.

Her fingers feel the needle cold.

How can she hold the scissors tight?

The work is done, she sends it far away.

When will it reach the town where warriors stay?


Li Bai

A SONG OF CHANGGAN

 

My hair had hardly covered my forehead.

I was picking flowers, paying by my door,

When you, my lover, on a bamboo horse,

Came trotting in circles and throwing green plums.

We lived near together on a lane in Ch’ang-kan,

Both of us young and happy-hearted.

…At fourteen I became your wife,

So bashful that I dared not smile,

And I lowered my head toward a dark corner

And would not turn to your thousand calls;

But at fifteen I straightened my brows and laughed,

Learning that no dust could ever seal our love,

That even unto death I would await you by my post

And would never lose heart in the tower of silent watching.

…Then when I was sixteen, you left on a long journey

Through the Gorges of Ch’u-t’ang, of rock and whirling water.

And then came the Fifth-month, more than I could bear,

And I tried to hear the monkeys in your lofty far-off sky.

Your footprints by our door, where I had watched you go,

Were hidden, every one of them, under green moss,

Hidden under moss too deep to sweep away.

And the first autumn wind added fallen leaves.

And now, in the Eighth-month, yellowing butterflies

Hover, two by two, in our west-garden grasses

And, because of all this, my heart is breaking

And I fear for my bright cheeks, lest they fade.

…Oh, at last, when you return through the three Pa districts,

Send me a message home ahead!

And I will come and meet you and will never mind the distance,

All the way to Chang-feng Sha.